6 Best Concerts in Phoenix this Weekend

Categories: Lists

Gavin Keen
Alvvays -- possibly the first band named for SEO purposes

We've got concert picks galore this weekend, and check out our comprehensive calendar for more options.

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15 Best Guitarists in the Phoenix Metal Scene Right Now

Categories: Lists, Metal!

Clayton Haugen
Jeremy Davis from Animus Complex

The Valley of the Sun has a lot of musical talent that spans across all genres. However, when it comes to heavy metal, the desert spawns some killer musicians. So we decided to take a look at some of our favorite heavy metal shredders. There's no way to really define the best guitarists -- everyone's a critic, right? -- so we chose this list based on several factors.

Let it be known that this list was difficult to compile; it started with about 35 guitarists and was whittled down to 15. This is about honoring standout local guitarists based on talent, presence in the local scene, background as a musician, and other miscellaneous available information.

So, in no particular order, here are our favorite Valley shredders.

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The Most Influential Arizona Punk Records: #10 - The Zany Guys, Party Hits Volume II

Categories: Lists


In late October, we introduced The 10 Most Influential Punk Records of Arizona. Over the next few weeks, we will reveal how we've ranked each record, and we will take an in-depth look at the people and circumstance behind each album's creation.

The name of the EP alone -- Party Hits Volume II -- hints at the excellent sense of humor the Zany Guys possess to this day. Though it is no secret there isn't a volume one, I am not sure many people actually remember just how funny the Zany Guys truly were. Clever is probably a better word, really, and the mood of this recording is both fun and ferocious, just like drummer Andhi Spath's iconic artwork adorning the cover. There was always an element to the band where you would just shake your head and say, "Damn, these guys rocked. What happened to them?" But that is another tale . . . a cautionary tale of excess, booze, and too much toast.

(I'm kidding, of course. There has been booze and toast. I seriously doubt, though, there has been much excess.)

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10 Most Influential Punk Records of Arizona: This Is Phoenix, Not the Circle Jerks


Over the next several weeks, we will uncover the order of the 10 most influential Arizona punk rock records, complete with an in-depth look at each. But for now, we present a record that functions as a sort of honorable mention, a record that would probably have made a few people's lists, for sure. It's a highly influential number 11, if only because it is the sole compilation on the list: This Is Phoenix Not the Circle Jerks, put out by Placebo Records.

"This Is Phoenix Not the Circle Jerks was the second of three local compilation records on Placebo. The title was a spoof of an album called This is Boston Not LA, which was a compilation that had come out just prior," says Tony Victor, who ran Placebo Records and promoted the lion's share of early Phoenix punk rock shows. "The cover photo was taken at Mad Garden during a Mighty Sphincter show. The back cover was something I cut out of an old advertisement in Life Magazine. Decisions for almost all aspects of the records, shows, tours, etc., were made fast and on the go."

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The 10 Most Influential Punk Records of Arizona

Categories: Lists


This obsession with lists is overwhelming at times. Full disclosure, not a fan, unless it rankles someone somewhere or serves some sort of purpose I can get behind. I enjoy irritating people almost as much as I enjoy making people feel good and I can live with the dichotomy. Perhaps someone should make a list of my peccadillos, but I digress. This particular list is way more important, at least to me.

The goal here, at least at first, was to come up with a list of the best punk rock records to come out of Arizona. With so many awesome bands over the years, and so many good recordings to choose from, how could you come up with just 10? Or 20? The first challenge that faced me is the reality about our weird music scene and its amalgamation of genres, sounds, and styles. I had to come to grips with the fact many of the bands I love and have been part of this scene are not purely punk. In reality, they are so much more.

Case in point, Seven Storey Mountain. I loved them. Visceral, powerful, and beautifully raw, but not punk. Someday I will write about them, and others like them, but not now.

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The Worst Songs From Pornhub's Song Search Contest [NSFW]

Categories: Funny, Lists

A capture from Coolio's Pornhub video
Coolio teamed up with Pornhub to release a music video earlier this year.

It's anyone's guess why the world's largest porn site is trying to get into music (maybe because no one likes paying for either?), but that's exactly what Pornhub is attempting to do. First they tried to make Coolio relevant again with a boring video featuring chicks wagging their silicon-filled breasts everywhere (this link is so NSFW that I really hope you get fired if you click it). Besides being more grotesque than arousing, Coolio seems as excited about titties as a 13-year old who just discovered Playboy. Now, Pornhub wants to bring out the 13-year old in you by hosting a songwriting contest.

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Six Reasons Bands Break Up

Categories: Lists

All illustrations by Curtis Tinsley
Breakups are often easy to categorize.

By Joseph Hess

While Aerosmith still flails around in a body without bones, propped up by the hot air of its backward-cap-wearing fanbase, most sensible bands know when to call it quits. Sure, reunion tours are a thing, but those tend to happen on the stinking fumes of nostalgia, and they serve to fuel the now-meager drug habits that were once respectable addictions.

Everyone calls it quits at some point. Being in a band is hard work -- coordinating schedules, dealing with flakes, and actually hammering out a tolerable song or two is damn near a miracle for some. But those who break through are destined to quit at some point, and here's why.

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Five Overlooked '90s Alt-Rock Albums You Should Revisit

Categories: Lists, Nostalgia

Would this grungy crew recommend these records?

News flash: The 1990s are back.

You already knew this; I did too. The music and culture that defined the Alternative Nation-era are everywhere. Still, when I passed throngs of teenagers in the mall last week (don't ask) wearing Doc Martens, ripped stockings and "vintage" Nirvana shirts on the way to J.C. Penney's "Doorbuster!" sale (don't ask), I didn't expect to find their attire actually at the J.C. Penney.

That got me thinking: What a weird time that was. Alt-rock had become a big-business commodity almost overnight, but who knew exactly where alt-rock began and ended?

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Six Reasons to Never Have Sex With a DJ

Categories: Lists

Just like that douche did to Kate Hudson in Almost Famous, your DJ beau will trade you in for beer and make you cry.

By Kat Bein

Correction: This article originally contained an incorrect byline. It was written by Kat Bein, not Katie Bain. Up on the Sun regrets the error.

Calm down, party girl/boy. Before you go flaunting your shiz in the face of the selector, think about what you're really getting yourself into.

Sure, dating (or even just fucking) a DJ seems like it would be a perk-filled romp through Awesomeville's romance district. Your new beau will not only shower you with ego-stroking affection, but (s)he comes with an endless playlist of sick tunes, free drinks, free drugs, VIP access, and the ability to skip any line imaginable.

Well, you can stop right there. Because even if you get any one of those things up front, you can pretty much bet that it's going to end badly. Then you're going to feel like an idiot and a prostitute. How do we know? We've been there. Learn from our mistakes.

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10 Vacant Buildings Around Phoenix That Should Be Music Venues

Categories: Lists

Benjamin Leatherman
The old Circles Records and Tapes location on Central Avenue.
If there's one thing that Metro Phoenix has no shortage of, it's vacant buildings. Thanks to the Great Recession and the ever-fickle whims of consumers, and the normal failure rate of any business, our area is littered with scores of available spaces or shuttered enterprises.

Some will eventually be reborn as new projects or concepts, including those devoted to nightlife or featuring live music. It's no secret that we're big fans of both adaptive reuse and local music venues, so its groovy whenever the two intersect and a new concert joint or rock bar opens some formerly vacant space. That goes double if it happens to be in some vintage building.

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